The Pacific Northwest possesses a certain beauty that is rivaled by few, if any, other regions of the United States. Lush foliage and numerous waterways are contrasted by snow-capped mountains, creating a visual that photographers cannot resist. The Pacific Coast and pristine wilderness are on full display in Washington State’s upper left-hand corner. The San Juan Islands serve as one of the region’s finest offerings, encapsulating each of its desirable traits. If you’re planning on joining the area’s many visitors, you’ve probably asked yourself “Where are the San Juan Islands, and how do I get there?” You’ll find your answer and more below as we help guide you to your San Juan Island experience.
Where Are the San Juan Islands and How to Get There
San Juan Island, and the additional islands that compose the archipelago (“group of islands”), reside just off the coast of the state of Washington, north of Seattle and not far from the U.S.-Canada border. Canada’s Vancouver Island is even closer, and the Haro Strait to the west narrowly separates the islands from their Canadian neighbor. According to VisitSanJuans.com, there are 172 named islands in the archipelago, but only four can be reached by ferry: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw. These four islands are also the most visited and populated of the islands. VisitSanJuan.com also offers a printable San Juan Islands map, free of charge. Located in the Pungent Sound and surrounded by Juan de Fuca and Haro straits, major cities Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., are only 90 miles away from San Juan Island.
Island travel is a unique experience, but if you’re a visitor, you have nothing to worry about, except choosing which mode of transportation suits you best.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has made booking a ferry ride easy with its “Take A Ferry” website. Reservations (which you’ll need), schedules and answers to any ferry travel questions you might have can be found here. These ferries depart from Anacortes, WA, and will take you to Friday Harbor. Visitors can also book their trip through Clipper Vacations. Departing from Seattle, the Victoria Clippers will take you straight to San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor.
If you prefer the air to sea fare, the islands can be reached via Kenmore Air, a popular choice amongst our visitors. Kenmore offers flights to the San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands, including the option to arrive by seaplane. Flights depart from Seattle and take less an hour.
Start Planning Your Trip
If you have yet to visit the breathtaking topography that we call home, we hope that what you’ve read above will bring you here. Our islands offer a unique experience, paralleled by none. Download our Vacation Guide for a glimpse into a few of the many things to do and see while you’re here. Tucker House Inn can help you plan your island vacation, including mapping out the most efficient routes and itineraries. With our help, we hope you that instead of asking “Where are the San Juan Islands?” you’ll simply ask “When?”